Maximum temperatures in both the suburbs and island city have shot up, with recorded day temperatures being five degrees above normal on Thursday.
The weather department said Friday could be cooler. “The temperatures have gone up as warm winds from the east are coming in from the plains. We expect temperatures to fall from Friday, but this is not certain,” said VK Rajeev, director, western region, India Meteorological Department (IMD).
On Thursday, the suburbs sweltered at 38.8 degrees Celsius, 5.9 degrees Celsius above normal. In south Mumbai, the maximum temperature rose to 37 degrees Celsius, 5.6 degrees above normal.
Minimum temperatures have also gone up – 25.2 degrees Celsius in south Mumbai and 22.9 degrees Celsius in the suburbs, a considerable jump from Tuesday’s 19.7 degrees Celsius.
In just two weeks, the island city has seen temperatures fluctuating. This is because March marks the transition from winter to summer, the IMD said. KS Hosalikar, IMD deputy director general said, “March is a very critical month, where variability in terms of temperature is very high. It is the transition month from winter to summer.”
The highest-ever temperature for March – 41.7 degrees Celsius – was recorded on March 28, 1956. The lowest recorded temperature, of 12.7 degrees Celsius, was on March 10, 2012. The same temperature was also recorded on March 4 and 5, 2013.
Temperatures recorded over the past few years highlight this inconsistency in weather conditions in March – 41.3 degrees Celsius and 40.5 degrees Celsius in March 2011 and March 2013 respectively.
On Thursday, south Mumbai also faced high humidity levels, being closer to the sea. Humidity recorded at Colaba was 64% against 82% during the day, and the suburbs saw 53% humidity, against 58% during the day.
Weathermen have predicted clear skies, a maximum temperature of 38 degrees Celsius and a minimum of 23 degrees Celsius for Friday.